Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal [Progressive Metalcore]
From friends of Animals As Leaders comes this other Djent project from Sumerian Records, and the guitarist is the man behind the production of the fabulous AAL albums. But this is almost completely different from AAL. A more apt comparison would be Trivium or As I Lay Dying.
Even though the tag says progressive, I did not find anything progressive about this album. As the title implies, this is a personal album, with emotional lyrics and screamo vocals and lyrics about how bitchy his ex-girlfriend is yada yada yada. A lot of the press are praising this album which dazzles me, seeing that there isn't much to be impressed by. Vocals, while emotive, do not strike much of a chord with me. For a 'progreesive' band, the guitarist is one hell of a bore, choosing to go for dreamy Dream Theatre-esque soundscapes instead of creating anything original and captivating. Speaking of which, John Petrucci himself brings one of the few highlights of the album with a solo on 'Erised'.
The production, which cannot really be complained about, helps to bring to life the few moments when electronics come in (see instrumental 'Epoch'), as Misha has showcased in the Animals As Leaders projects, but otherwise, there isn't much to bring to the surface with the album's serious lack of detail. The songs are really just, songs, without much creativity. It's more of an ambient album then a metal album, with the death vocals never really punching you in the face (is it autotuned?), and the album works better as a whole than a song-by-song basis, a bitter irony which describes the homogeneity of the album. Some nice production for a boring band trying to capture the glory of old Dream Theatre days. For a better example, listen to Haken's 2011 album Visions.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Passable - One or two good songs, a bit of flow